Diamond couple celebrate happy marriage

Brian and Ann Laven
Brian and Ann Laven

Happy marriages are rooted in shared values, good fortune and having a giggle.

This is the word according to Horsham couple Brian and Ann Laven and they should know since they are celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

Sixty years after getting married at The Church in the Wood in Hollington near Hastings on August 22 1953, they still laugh at the same jokes and get exasperated by pesky politicians.

They also share a passion for bridge, fish and chips and caravanning and revel in their grown up family who between them have produced eight fabulous grand children.

But there, the shared interests pretty much end which is proof that respect and friendship sustain a marriage better than pomp and pastimes.

The couple met in 1950 when Brian, now 84, was an apprentice engineer at De Havillands in Hatfield and Ann, 86, was a student at Offley Place Teachers Training College nearby.

They met at a dance and Brian knew immediately he wanted her as his wife though it took him a year to ask her out on a date!

They set up home in Hatfield then after two and a half years in a caravan in Shelford near Cambridge they moved to Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire. Their four children were born in the space of six years between 1954 and 1960.

Brian worked as a flight simulator engineer in Aylesbury where they lived for eight years but in 1975, the family moved to Sussex where he became managing director of Rediffusion Robot Systems in Crawley, a company he helped set up.

Ann was a PE and special needs teacher spending 14 years at Colwood School, an adolescent psychiatric unit in Haywards Heath before she retired. When Brian retired a few years later, they became active supporters of the Horsham and District Probus Club which has been the source of many special friendships.

The Lavens have four children Mike, Nicki, Kate and Richard and eight grandchildren aged between 15 and 21.

“We have had a really lovely family, who have given us a lot of pleasure and both enjoyed pretty good health so we have been extremely fortunate,” Ann said.

“Our interests are not terribly alike but we have always been great friends so it’s been a very good marriage. He still makes me laugh.”